Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/221

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that is why you never remain still,—always, always thinking: 'In the whole world there is no one so fortunate as I.'

" But now try to think a little about your own personal history. It is worth recalling; for there is a vulgar side to it. How a vulgar side? Well, for a considerable time after you were born, you had no such reason for rejoicing in your form. You were then a mere cabbage-insect, a hairy worm; and you were so poor that you could not afford even one robe to cover your nakedness; and your appearance was altogether disgusting. Everybody in those days hated the sight of you. Indeed you had good reason to be ashamed of yourself; and so ashamed you were that you collected old twigs and rubbish to hide in, and you made a hiding-nest, and hung it to a branch,—and then everybody cried out at you, 'Raincoat Insect!' (Mino-mushi.)[1] And during that period of your life, your sins were grievous. Among the tender green leaves of beautiful cherry-trees you and your fellows assembled, and there made ugliness extraordinary; and the ex-

  1. A name suggested by the resemblance of the larva's artificial covering to the mino, or straw-raincoat, worn by Japanese peasants. I am not sure whether the dictionary rendering, " basket-worm," is quite correct;—but the larva commonly called minomushi does really construct for itself something much like the covering of the basket-worm.